ORONO – Despite a somewhat underwhelming regular season, University of Maine interim baseball coach Nick Derba turned his team’s misfortunes around. The Black Bears won four of six games in the America East baseball tournament, eventually losing in the championship matchup to UMBC. That run was good enough to provide Derba some extra support though.
UMaine removed Derba’s interim tag Friday, officially naming him the 25th head coach in program history. His new contract will be official July 1.
“I’m excited to be a part of this program with so much history and tradition behind it,” Derba said Friday. “I’m beyond words.”
Derba praised the culture his clubhouse is building, and thanked UMaine administration for having faith in his coaching. He said he definitely felt the late-season run played into him returning, but received support all year long from upper brass.
“I have a lot of pride in this place. This is a beautiful place to be at. The state of Maine in itself and the university of Maine,” he said. “There’s a lot of history here. And I have a deep source of affection towards it. And I want to be here, and I want to represent it in the best light possible. So for me, I feel like I’m playing for my home state and coaching for my home state every single day.”
Derba was named interim coach after former coach Steve Trimper left just before the new year. He compiled a 25-29 record overall in his first season on the job, going 8-12 in conference play.